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Hybridbus in Hamburg © / Roberto Kai Hegeler

Hamburg and Berlin to purchase electric buses jointly

State transport operators to order up to 200 emission-free vehicles annually - possible incentive for carmakers

Olaf Scholz, Mayor of Hamburg and Michael Müller, Mayor of Berlin, signed an agreement Tuesday (August 30th) at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate to purchase emission-free buses for public transport. Under the agreement, state transport operators will order 200 buses per year thereby sending an important signal to carmakers.

Only emission-free buses from 2020

Scholz said: “Berlin and Hamburg as large modern cities face the challenge of achieving inner-city mobility and clean air for all their residents.” Berlin and Hamburg have a fleet of around 2,900 buses making the cities the biggest users of buses in Europe. Carmakers could be certain of finding a market through their combined order, Scholz added and urged other cities and communities in Germany to join their initiative.

The signal to carmakers comes after the Hamburg Hochbahn vowed to purchase only emission-free buses from 2020. However, a report by Nahverkehr Hamburg said the German car industry is not yet in a position to undertake serial production of alternative drives.

Examining innovative drives

Henrik Falk, CEO of Hamburger Hochbahn, said: “Together with other transport companies, we can now be more forceful on the market to achieve goals set by politics.” Falk mentioned Bus No. 109 in Hamburg as an example of the company’s innovative bus lines. At present, diesel-electric hybrid buses, battery-run buses and fuel cell buses are being examined for everyday use. The company is also building its first yard for a fleet of completely emission-free buses, Falk added.

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